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Track and Field: Union Catholic Girls Qualified for 3 Finals, Ran Fastest NJ Times in 3 Races at Penn Relays

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(Left to right) Union Catholic's Jerika Lufrano, Leena Morant, Zamira Ysaac and Morgan Jackson qualified for the 4x800 C of A race at the Penn Relays by running a Union County record 9:10.04. Credits: Jim Lambert
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PHILADELPHIA - The Union Catholic girls have a history of making their presence felt on the biggest track and field stages.

The opening day of the 124th Penn Relays on Thursday proved to be no different as UC once again showed everyone that even without Olympian Sydney McLaughlin (now starring at the University of Kentucky) the Vikings are one of the best programs in the country.

Showcasing its great range and depth, the Vikings used 10 different athletes to qualify for the 4x800 Championship of America race for the first time ever, two 4x100 finals, and they broke one county record and ran the fastest times among all New Jersey squads in the 4x100, 4x400, and 4x800.

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UC's remarkable triple started in the morning when the all underclassmen quartet of Jerika Lufrano, Leena Morant, Zamira Ysaac, and Morgan Jackson ran a Union County record 9:10.04 to place second in its heat and qualify for Friday's Championships of America race. This is the third straight year that UC will compete in a girls C of A race. The Vikings, with McLaughlin on the anchor, placed third in the 4x400 C of A in 2016 and '17.

A few hours later, Kira Alexander, Sydney Tucker, Khamil Evans, and Amaya Chadwick teamed up to win its heat in a school record 47.22 to qualify for Friday's Northeast Championship and Saturday's Tri-State Championship.

The Vikings capped off its memorable trifecta when the foursome of Evans (57.35), Tucker (58.11), Felicia Quianoo (59.15) and Mia Bennett-Jones (59.78) placed fifth in its heat in 3:54.38, the 16th fastest time among the 611 teams that competed and the ninth fastest among U.S. teams.

UC's 9:10.04, 47.22, and 3:54.38 are all the fastest times run by a NJ this season.
  
"It was a real team effort,'' said UC coach Mike McCabe. "The girls are reaping the rewards of their hard work and dedication to the team.''

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